when I grow up

Monday, March 26, 2012

What do you want to be when you grow up?

We've all been asked this probably a thousand times through our school years.

The first answers I remember giving someone were that I wanted to be a scientist (a chemist, to be exact. I was 6.) and a teacher.

Well, I'm neither of those things specifically today.

Over the years I have wanted to be many, many things. I won't trouble you with the listing, just know that I tend to be a decently indecisive person.

Since becoming an 'adult' I've tried hard to figure this out. In high school even I had a hard time choosing a college because I had a hard time choosing a career. I finally settled on Graphic Design - combining my love of art with my seemingly inherited abilities with computer programming language and self taught knowledge of HTML. I spent two and a half years working on a graphic design degree from The Art Institute Online, and then I quit.

It was a year round school, and while I was doing significantly better in college than I was in high school (because, you know, I actually did the work this time) but it was year round schooling. 2 classes at a time eery six weeks, no holiday breaks or anything, and I was burnt out. What started as a session off turned into a semester and when I tried to go back my grades were crap, and my commitment was lacking. I dropped out rather than waste more money. Err, rack up more student loan debt. *sigh* Oh, the debt.

Eventually I hooked up with my local community college and took a few classes I was interested in, without choosing a path or degree program. I had narrowed it down to 6 degrees that I wanted to get (What? No one else does that?)and chose classes that I liked and that those programs shared, so that no matter what I took I could apply it to whatever I decided to get first. After a couple semesters I dropped out. I had started slacking off again.

I went back! This time I paid out of pocket, because of academic probation from the dropping out previously, and it really kept me in there and got things done. I took some courses online, I got really good grades, and got my work done, I was extremely happy with my progress - all while I had just had a baby, was working from home 30 hours a week, and struggling to pump and breastfeed( more on that journey here). However, with things at work getting busier and having to return to the office in a couple months, on top of the struggle we were having with breastfeeding, and adding wedding planning time crunch to the mix, I decided to hold off on taking more classes until the next year.

That would be this year.

Last year I was still floundering a bit on the degrees (yes, plural) I wanted. I had four, and had decided I would just get them all, dang it! Since I couldn't make a decision on which would be best.

This year, I've made a few real decisions regarding my degrees. This fall I'll begin (or, restart rather) classes to achieve an associates degree to become an American Sign Language Interpreter. It is one of the careers I've always had in mind. I've decided to pursue this one over the others because I feel so strongly about it and because I can really help our community with the knowledge I'll be gaining.

Additionally, I'll be obtaining a career certificate for web page design. This will only take a semester or so and will *hopefully* allow me to at least obtain some extra income with a minimal impact on our home lives.

Lately though, I've been interested and strongly considering pursuing an education in the birth field. I feel strongly about wanting to help women succeed in their goals to birth naturally. I truly do. I had a hard time trying to find someone to teach me how I could be successful, because of my lack of funds. I couldn't afford the natural birthing classes that I was able to find, a few cities away at that. However, I was lucky enough that the hospital we would be attending for our birth did offer a class. I wasn't sure what it would include, but the hospital is reputed to be the more 'natural birth friendly' hospital in our area (we are lucky enough to have two major hospitals in the same county). The class went over the basics, the term we would need to know, what our bodies would go through, and more. It gave our partners ideas of what to expect, and information about what we were going through growing our children. The course also gave great tips for working through labor including music, meditation, stretches, positions, movements, general advice and more. I was so thankful for this class, and all the things it covered. Many of the other women who attended were so focused on "How long will labor last?" and "How long will I have to push for?" and many also wanted to know "How soon can I get an epidural?". I wasn't any of these women. I only wanted to know "How can I make it through labor without giving up?" I was beyond thankful for the woman teaching the class, who had birthed more than once naturally without pain medication, and who was beyond amazing at providing us with well rounded information AND labor coping guides - since the class was not tailored to natural birth.

I was even more thankful I was able to complete the class! Since I gave birth about a week after our last session.

Any how, I've gone off topic a bit.

I'm considering taking classes and learning more about becoming a birth teacher, or a labor coach. Or even just wanting to volunteer my story and my experience to others locally.

Note: I was inspired to write this post after serious thinking and then reading Mama Birth's post Something New In Birth Education- Birth Boot Camp

In part of her post Mama Birth says...
Have you ever gone for years just wondering what you were supposed to do and hoping that you would figure it out?

I have.
...I have too.


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